Most companies these days have some kind of blog on their website, even if they aren’t seriously pursuing a content marketing strategy. They generally rely on internal writers, or possibly contractors to handle the majority of their work, with the understanding that internal personnel will know the brand (and its target audience) better than anyone else.
However, attracting guest posts to your blog, written by outsiders, is a strategy of enormous potential value. Ordinarily, content marketers focus more on guest posting on outside sources, but there are almost as many advantages to inviting guest authors to contribute on your company blog.
Here are seven of them:
1. Mutual reputation benefits. In an era where reputation is everything, it’s incredibly useful to build a network of trusted writers to verify each other’s legitimacy in a given field. In fact, this is the principle that Google PageRank is based on; authority is calculated based on what other authorities deem it worthy. When a guest author posts on your site, the author is implicitly agreeing that you’re an authoritative source. In return, you’re implicitly agreeing that your author is a trustworthy source. Over time, as you collect bigger and more prominent guest authors, your reputation will increase dramatically, and you’ll be able to pass reputation onto others who post on your blog.
2. New specialization. No matter how much of an expert you are in your field, there’s always something that someone knows better than you do. Fishing around for outside authorities means opening the door to experts that complement your current experience and knowledge. It may take time to find the right fits for your campaign, but with enough time and effort, you’ll fill in the gaps and create a more robust resource for your customers. If you feel threatened by the new face, don’t — even though it’s an outside author writing the content, visitors will be primarily on your site, so you’ll get much of the authoritative credit.
3. A break. I’m a content marketer and have been for many years. As much as I love to write, sometimes it’s a challenge. Writer’s block may prevent me from coming up with new content ideas, or I might be too tired to give a piece of content my best shot. It happens to the best of us, and is a normal part of the process. Inviting guest authors to your blog gives you a break from the routine, and a chance to catch up on other work you might have. If you do it frequently enough, it could become a source of regular recharge time.
4. New perspectives. When you spend a long enough time on your own content marketing strategy, you tend to develop a kind of tunnel vision. You gravitate toward topics you know have been successful in the past, and you develop a rhythm for how to write posts. In general, this allows you to repeat your success over and over — which is incredibly valuable — but it also precludes you from experimenting with new angles and perspectives. Inviting others to contribute is a way to break free from that limited vision, even if it’s only a temporary measure. Learn what you can from your new authors.
5. Social visibility. Accepting new guest authors is also a handy shortcut to achieve greater social visibility and interaction. Most guest writers are looking for ways to increase the visibility of their personal brands, which means they’ll be motivated to share the material and talk about it on social media. You’ll instantly get more social traction from the article, and you’ll have a chance to interact with the author directly to build a relationship and exchange followers with each other.
6. Relationship value. The relationship you build with your guest authors isn’t limited to a single interaction. If you take the time to nurture their content, they’ll return to you with more, and will likely allow you to contribute to their blogs in turn. You’ll also open the door to more networking opportunities and bigger, better publishers on the other side — not to mention you’ll have a source to exchange ideas with, and possibly collaborate with in the future.
7. Links. Most people searching for opportunities to guest post on outside blogs also have a blog of their own. When they post on your site, they’ll inevitably link to your site at some point in the future, referencing that material. This counts as an inbound link for your SEO campaign, and has the power to boost your authority — even if the blog itself isn’t a high authority source. Overall, inviting guest posters to your site won’t attract as many links as building content and links on outside sources yourself, but it’s a nice added perk that can make the strategy even more worthwhile.
If you’re not sure how to attract guest contributors to your blog in the first place, it’s easier than you think. There’s rarely a shortage of adequate writers looking for opportunities to post, so if anything, your biggest problem will be having too many applicants.
Advertise your openness to accept guest author submissions on your website, and promote the idea on social media. It won’t be long before the submissions start trickling in — just be sure to vet your candidates, so you earn the best material possible for your blog. This is your brand’s reputation on the line, after all.